Jun 8, 2019

Hey friends,


So hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year! 🤯


A lot has happened medically since I last blogged, so here’s a little update…  It’s been pretty rough lately. 🙁  So I just wanted to thank you for continuing to pray for me.  Your prayers definitely keep me going. 💚


About 2 months ago, I got diagnosed with hypoparathyroidism which can also occur with mitochondrial disease. 😔  I’ve been experiencing numerous symptoms—there aren’t really any good treatments for it, so I have to go back and see my naturopathic dr.  But I haven’t been able to see him yet for this issue because I’ve had TOO many other doctor appointments the past several weeks. 🙁


In addition, I started experiencing horrible neck pain, and I don’t know what’s causing it. 🙁  The OHSU comprehensive pain center has become very holistic in the last 2 years, and they now offer chiropractic treatment (as well as acupuncture, massage therapy, and naturopathic medicine).  So my pain dr. is having me see a chiropractor on top of my regular physical therapy appointments that I have twice a week….but sadly, none of this seems to be helping my neck. 🙁  My physical therapist has even been doing a lot of “cupping” on my neck/shoulders.


I have an appointment with my orthopedic doctor on June 17th, and I’m praying he will be able to figure out what’s going on.  It’s just been so difficult to deal with this new neck pain on top of all my other chronic pain.


And then, to make matters worse, for those who may not remember, I was born with a hemangioma (benign blood tumor) on the bottom of my right foot.  Well, growing up, it caused so much pain to the point that I couldn’t bear weight on it.


So, at age 17, I had it removed at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.  Long story short, it’s now been 9 years, and sadly, it seems to be growing back. 😭  It’s causing so much aching, throbbing pain, and I can’t bear weight on it well.  My pain dr. thinks it’s wrapping around a nerve or pressing into it. :’(


I saw my PCP this past Monday, and he wonders if the surgeon wasn’t able to remove all of the “bad” cells then or if this is going to become a “thing” where I need surgery every 8-9 years…  So he is referring me to a surgeon to hopefully get this removed again..


I’ll always wonder why I (and none of my siblings) was the one to be born prematurely with this birth defect as well as the sinus defect near my ear (which was repaired when I was 10 years old).  I also always wonder why I’m the only one with mito….and EDS….and Wilson’s Disease….and mast cell disease, etc. and why none of my siblings are affected (as far as we know..).


I wish things were different….for example, it’s been 8 whole years since I graduated from high school, and I realize that I could have graduated from med school (one of my dreams!) this year if none of “this” happened..  But as you can see, my life had/has a different direction, so the only thing I CAN do is keep trusting the Lord with this wild journey.


I still have so many questions, but you know what?  The Lord continues to give me grace for each day and His peace amidst all this unknown.  It’s comforting to know that, even before I was born, He had a specific plan and purpose for my life.  I recently read this quote by Morgan Harper Nichols, and I thought it was so true: “You do not have to know what is going to happen in order to have hope.”  No matter my circumstances, my hope will always remain in Christ!  And I can do all things (whether it’s dealing with more diagnoses and more pain or having more surgeries..) through Him who strengthens me. ❤️




Next month, my parents, sis, and I head to San Diego to see my mito specialist.  I have so much to update him on, and I look forward to hearing the latest on clinical trials since the UMDF (United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation) national symposium for 2019 is happening this month.  We’re also going to stay an extra day in San Diego (4 nights instead of the usual 3), so I’m excited to explore more! 🙂

Post written byKerissa

This post has 8 comments

  • Monica Fish

    Kerissa, I did not know af all of your diagnoses, nor various pains, doctors, appointments and disappointments. You are amazing to make it through without giving up on the truths God has spoken over all of it. He is good and enough, but I feel that you know that to probably a different degree than I may ever understand.

    I have a friend who, after living life in pain since a child and having years in and out of mobility and seeking countless providers, was just diagnosed with EDS type 3 and POTS. She struggles with knowing how life will continue to unfold. Thankfully she does have Jesus!

    Keep creating through art and writing- it is inspiring and a testament to God’s goodness to us all, no matter what life looks like. Much love.

    • Dear Monica,

      Thank you so very much for your caring message, 💜💜 It encouraged me more than you know!! I’m sorry to hear about your friend that got diagnosed with EDS and POTS. 🙁 I hope she’s getting some good treatment for it though! I’m so glad to hear that she does have Jesus! 💕

      Thank you again for your note! It truly lifted me up! 😊 I love seeing pics of little Emma on FB—she is just so adorable!


    • Kerissa,
      Sometimes I wonder too……from the other end of the spectrum. Why am I so healthy while my two siblings (and their husbands and some of their children) suffer from very serious medical conditions, chronic pain, disability, mental illness, and more? How can my friend Kerissa suffer severely every day of her life while other young people purposefully harm their bodies with chemicals and toxins and avoid suffering at any cost??? What is my responsibility as a healthy person to care for and love on those who are hurting? I commit to pray for you regularly, to love your main caregiver (Mom!), and to trust God to show me what practical help I can be to your family. Right now I’m growing fruit and veggies to share when the time is ripe :))

      Thanks for sharing honestly, with pain, but mostly with trust and hope in God. He will richly reward you for your outspoken confidence in Him. Loving you, Rosalie

      • Dear Mrs. Baugh,

        Thank you so much for your message. It is always such an encouragement to read! 💜💜 I am so grateful for you and your ongoing, loving support. Your prayers mean so much to me, too!



  • Marcia Rigamonti

    Your post has been an encouragement to me. Yes, MY hope is in the Lord, who gave Himself for me! Thank you for your beautiful words of hope and trust in Him, Jesus, our Lord and Friend.

  • Nancy Brewer

    It must be like losing a little bit of yourself every day. I cannot even begin to imagine what that must feel like. I have health issues, but not to the degree you have – nor do most of us.
    The thing that really amazes me the most is that while healthy children who graduate high school and go off to college, lose sight of the Father Who created them and the marvelous wonders he has done and does every day!
    You haven’t. You are an inspiration to me. I think about you when I’m dealing with one of my few issues and just rely on Almighty God who is the Great Physician and Healer.
    Thanks for keeping us updated and thank you for your lovely, beautiful, gorgeous art and lettering!

Leave Your Comment Here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will be checked by administration.